Order Death Records
Q: What death records are available?
The Arkansas Department of Health issues certified copies of original Arkansas death certificates in paper form. Death certificates from other states should be requested from the vital records offices in those other states (click here for the directory).
Records housed at the Arkansas Department of Health date from February 1, 1914 through the present. There are a limited number of death records available for deaths occurring between 1881 and 1914 in Little Rock and Fort Smith. The Arkansas History Commission keeps an alphabetical listing of deaths in Arkansas dating from 1914 through 1949, but they do not have the actual death records.
You may search and order Arkansas death certificates from 1935 to 1961 via the Online Death Certificate Search & Order Service.
Please note that the funeral home creates the death certificate and files it with the local health unit in the county where the death occurred. After that, copies are issued to the funeral home, and additional copies can be applied for here with us. It takes 3-6 weeks after the Arkansas Department of Health receives the death certificate before copies are ready to be issued to eligible requestors.
Q: How much do death certificates cost?
The cost of a death record is $10.00 for the first copy and $8.00 for each additional copy of the same record that is ordered at the same time. If you choose an “Express Service” through Vital Chek, an express fee will also be charged, in addition to the cost of any expedited shipping options you select. If no record is found or no copy is made, state law requires that we keep $10.00 for a search fee, and if the order is placed through Vital Chek, the express fee will likewise be non-refundable. However, you will receive a refund of any amount you paid apart from these fees.
Q: Who may obtain a death certificate?
Arkansas statutes allow release to:
- a parent of the deceased
- a child of the deceased
- the spouse of the deceased
- grandchild or grandparents of the deceased
- the informant listed on the death certificate
- the funeral home handling the remains of the deceased
- a beneficiary of the deceased (with proper legal documentation)
All other applicants may obtain records by one of the following methods:
- Submit written authorization from eligible individuals (see above) using the Vital Records Authorization form, with documentation proving need of the copy. These can be submitted in person, by mail, or by fax to 501-661-2337.
- Have the copy mailed directly to the person named on the record or the organization requesting the copy. (Copy cannot be mailed in care of another person).
- Present a court-issued subpoena for the record to be issued to the requestor.
If the requestor supplies a copy of probate documents naming him or her as the administrator/executor of the estate in question, a death certificate may also be released.
Death records that are more than 50 years old can be released to the public.
Q: What do I need in order to obtain a death certificate?
In order to obtain a death certificate, eligible individuals (see above) must submit:
- Acceptable identification (click here for a complete list of acceptable and unacceptable forms of ID)
- Full name of the person on the death certificate
- Date of death
- City or town and county of death
- Name and address of the funeral home
- Name of the physician/coroner/medical examiner who certified the death
- Requestor’s relationship to the person named on the certificate
- Requestor’s reason for requesting the certificate
- An acceptable form of payment (which varies depending on the method of order; see below).
Q: How can I obtain a death certificate?
Eligible individuals (see above) may order a death certificate by any of the following methods:
- By Mail: You may order a certified copy of the death record by mailing in a completed (available here or from your local health unit, a check or money order made out to Arkansas Department of Health (no cash or temporary checks), and a copy or copies of acceptable ID to:
Arkansas Department of Health
Vital Records, Slot 44
4815 West Markham Street
Little Rock, AR 72205
Please allow 10-14 days for processing, in addition to mail delivery time.
- Walk-in: You may order a certified copy of the death record by coming into the Arkansas Department of Health’s vital records office. The office is located at 4815 West Markham St. Little Rock, AR 72205, across the street from War Memorial Stadium, and is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. until 4:30 P.M. The office is closed on state holidays. Most certificate requests can be fulfilled the same day for customers arriving by 4:00 P.M., provided they are eligible to receive the certificate requested and have all the required information, including acceptable ID (see above). However, same day service is not guaranteed for non-routine requests such as certificate corrections, court orders, paternity affidavits, and genealogical requests prior to 1935. Customers who arrive in the office after 4:00 P.M. may pick up their request the following day or may ask that it be mailed. Walk-in payment options are cash, credit or debit cards, or a check or money order made out to Arkansas Department of Health (no temporary checks are permitted).
- Express Service Order via the Internet: You may order a copy of the death record via the internet at www.vitalchek.com. Multiple expedited shipping options are available through this service. Payment of service fee, certificate fee, and charges for any expedited shipping options may be made by debit or credit card (Visa, Master Card, Discover, or American Express). Please note that at this time, Vital Chek is the only online service contracting with the Arkansas Department of Health to provide certified records to the public. The Arkansas Department of Health will not fulfill any orders submitted through unauthorized online vendors, nor shall we be liable for any losses (including of funds, personal information, etc.) or damages resulting from the use of such services.
- Express Service Order via Telephone: You may order a copy of the death record via telephone toll-free at (866) 209-9482. Multiple expedited shipping options are available through this service. Payment of service fee, certificate fee, and charges for any expedited shipping options may be made by debit or credit card (Visa, Master Card, Discover, or American Express). Please note that at this time, Vital Chek is the only phone-in service contracting with the Arkansas Department of Health to provide certified records to the public. The Arkansas Department of Health will not fulfill any orders submitted through unauthorized vendors, nor shall we be liable for any losses (including of funds, personal information, etc.) or damages resulting from the use of such services.
Q: Who should I contact with additional questions about ordering a death certificate?
Please feel free to contact the Arkansas Department of Health at 501-661-2339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm, with the exception of state holidays, when the office is closed.
|Downloads and Links|
|Online Death Certificate Search & Order Service|
|Death Certificate Application|
|Request for Veteran’s Free Copy of Death Certificate|
|Vital Records Authorization Form|
|Requirements for Acceptable Identification | ENGLISH | SPANISH|
|Burial Transit Cremation Permit|
|Reporting Causes of Death|
|Supplemental Cause of Death|